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CHAPTER SIX – THANKFULLY, IT SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER STANDARD ENGAGEMENT.
En-route to his meeting the Commander contemplated what he was about to face. In respect of his staff he anticipated no issues whatsoever. Such was the way that the military worked. With any potential crap going down the chain of command and not up it. But this was not just a meeting with his staff, civilian personnel, influential and powerful civilian personnel would also be in attendance – albeit but just a handful of them. And in truth civilian personnel generally neither spoke like nor thought like military personnel.
And additionally, such was the complexities of both his role and indeed the political environment they were all operating in these days, he was fully aware that any one of these necessary and yet inconvenient were just likely to stab him in the back whilst complimenting him and shining the four stars on each of his shoulder epaulettes.
And given the decision that he had taken earlier that morning – coupled with the course of action that he had pretty much settled his mind on taking in the next few days, this was not going to be a meeting they would leave in good humour. The first in fact of several meetings that they were likely not to leave in good humour.
The Commander was not even half way to his meeting when the hallway lights suddenly turned red and an urgent sounding alarm sounded all around him.
“Thirty seven enemy units in sector 19b, commander” the digital voiced advised him.
“Analyse theater terrain and select map, Veles.” The commander responded as he instantly turned on the balls of his feet and launched into a steady run back down the corridor. Within minutes he had reached and was entering a room labelled “Operations Command Room”.
“Sit Rep” He commanded the moment he had entered the room, seemingly ignoring the immediate salutes of the two large MP’s stationed at either side of the doors and just inside the room. Just as, in fact, he had done with those stationed outside the doors.
“Theatre Terrain analysed and map selected Commander.” a thin young uniformed man who was sat at a console immediately in front of a huge screen on the main wall, advised him.
“Three detachments selected Commander.” Another added. “Two at full strength, one at half.”
“Flagged units Assigned?” The Commander asked, as he went and stood in the centre of one of the numerous long banks of console-based stations.
“Yes commander.” Another advised him. “Deployment breakdown: Gold – Five, Mercury – Five, and Silver -Three.”
For a moment or two the commander just stood studying all of the images and data displayed on the huge screen before them all. His head turning from side to side as he focused on and processed different pieces of information being displayed in various sections of the screen.
“Veles, assess ‘Estimative Probability’.” The Commander suddenly directed.
“Estimative Probability is assessed, commander. ” The digital voice responded within but a moment.
“Report.” The simple instruction given by the Commander required only the one word.
“Success achieved within four – five engagements.” The digital voice advised.
“Secondary teams selected?” The Commander enquired.
“Yes Commander.” another of the uniformed personnel advised.
“Shall I advise your 09 hundred meeting that the meeting will be postponed until further notice, Commander?” The digital voice enquired.
“No thank you, Veles.” The Commander replied. “This one seems to be a standard engagement.” And with that the Commander turned and started walking back towards the doors that he had entered the room through.
“Notify me of any change in status, Veles.” He instructed as he walked out of the room, returning the salute of the two saluting MP’s as he did so.
Once back in the corridor the Commander opened a utility pouch attached to his BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) belt and pulled out an electronic pad. He studied it for the duration of his walk to his meeting. Navigating back and forth between all the different pieces of data that he required as he did so. Numerous personnel – the majority of which being in battledress uniforms – passed and saluted him as he walked.
Finally reaching his destination, the Commander returned the salutes of the two MP’s stationed on guard outside of the double doors and entered the room as the doors automatically opened to him. His entrance causing all of the military personnel seated around a very long oval table within the room to instantly leap to attention and await his instructions.
“As you were.” The Commander instructed, as he went and took his seat in a tall backed leather chair at the head of the table. “My apologies for the delayed start to this meeting.” He added.
“Is everything alright, Commander?” A tall thin suited man with a french accent enquired.
“Yes.” The Commander advised him. “Thankfully, it seems to be just another standard engagement.”